The holidays are often a cheerful time of the year. However, at Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, we know for our foster youth and children the holidays can be a difficult time. For 17-year-old Tito, the holidays are often a time when he struggles due to the fact that he can’t be with his family back in South America. Since his arrival to the U.S. at age 8, the foster teen hasn’t seen his grandparents. All communication has been through the phone or video conference.
This past holiday season, Maria Saucedo, Tito’s social worker since age 11, wanted to brighten the youth’s holiday with a special surprise. In coordination with Tito’s Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) team and CASA Volunteer, Maria was able to coordinate a surprise visit with Tito’s grandparents. Under Maria’s spearheading efforts, the WRAP team was able to secure funding for housing accommodations for Tito’s family. Additionally, the CASA Volunteer was also able to secure funds for food through Child Advocates for groceries and local food restaurants.
This was the best holiday season Tito experienced since entering the Dependency System thanks to his social worker’s amazing dedication to her youth and willingness to go above and beyond. Maria’s holiday surprise is a prime example of advocacy in action and a small glimpse into the essential work our social worker partners at the Department of Family and Children’s Services do every day in service to our community.
Thank you, Maria, and all our social workers for LIFTING UP our foster youth!